How to Tackle Common Stains with the Right Flooring Cleaner

Your house guest spilled a few drops of red wine at last night’s dinner. Your kids dropped an open glue bottle on the carpet. Your pet had yet another accident on the linoleum floor.

Can you use the same supplies and methods for all these different stain removal situations? The short answer is no, but you’ll want to act fast to prevent permanent damage!

How can you keep track of every flooring cleaner and what types of flooring materials and stains to use them on? Let us do the heavy lifting for you.

Read on for your complete guide to tackling common stains by floor type.

Carpet Stain Removal

Carpet can seem like the biggest challenge when it comes to stain removal because each fiber tends to soak up the stain. You can’t simply wipe it away before it dries and will have to break out some tried and true methods to restore your carpet to like-new quality. The good news is that it’s completely doable with the right cleaning methods.

Liquid Stains

For pet accidents and liquid spills, start by blotting (not wiping) the stain as soon as possible. Spray the area with white vinegar and repeat the process to lift the stain. If the stain is dry, sprinkle baking soda, allow it to sit for two to three hours, and vacuum it away.

Oil-Based Stains

For oil-based stains, blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove as much oil as possible. Use a separate cloth to apply rubbing alcohol to the stain with that same blotting motion. Finish it off by scrubbing the area with room temperature water and dish soap.

Hardwood Stain Removal

Hardwood is one of the most popular flooring options because of its natural and timeless beauty. However, it requires some extra TLC to remove stains without stripping away the finish or warping the floor boards.

Liquid Stains

If possible, use a cloth or paper towel to absorb pet accidents and spills as soon as they happen. If you can still see dark spot after drying the spill, grab some floor wax and rub it into the stain with a ball of steel wool. As a last ditch effort, spray the area with white vinegar and allow it to sit for about an hour before wiping it up with a damp cloth.

Oil-Based Stains

To address oil-based stains on hardwood, apply dish detergent to break down the grease. You may need to do this a few times, using a cloth and a little elbow grease to work the detergent into a lather. Then, mop or wipe up the dish detergent residue with warm water so you don’t leave behind a waxy-looking residue.

Natural Stone Stain Removal

Natural stone includes things like granite and marble, which are both quite porous. Having your natural stone floors recoated every few years can help, but some stains still break through.

Liquid Stains

For pet accidents and liquid spills, mix dish detergent in water to create suds and blot the affected area. Then grab a dry cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to blot at the stain again. If any residue remains, do the same thing with a cloth dipped in diluted bleach.

Oil-Based Stains

If you’re dealing with oil-based stains, you’re going to need to use some heavy-hitters: ammonia or degreasing fluid. Create a paste with whichever one you have on hand and apply it to the stain, cover the area with plastic wrap (or a plastic bag), and allow it to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can scrape away the paste with a flat-edged tool like a paint scraper to reveal good-as-new natural stone.

Vinyl Stain Removal

Vinyl flooring is a great solution for kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas where spills are common. However, that doesn’t make them stain-resistant, especially if you don’t tackle messes fast.

Liquid Stains

After a pet accident or spill, start by blotting away any remaining liquid. Then, combine one part white vinegar, one part warm water, and a few drops of dish detergent and use a clean cloth to scrub the mixture into the stain. If the stain is old or stubborn, trade the cloth for a soft-bristled brush.

Oil-Based Stains

Oil-based stains are tough to remove from vinyl, so you’re going to want to use a vinyl cleaner (not a multi-purpose cleaner). Use a clean cloth to scrub the stain with warm water and then apply the vinyl cleaner. Follow the instructions on the packaging to determine how long you should let the cleaner sit on the stain before mopping it away.

Flooring Cleaner Do’s and Don’ts

Now you’ve got cleaning methods and supplies for the most common stain removal situations. Before you break out the cloths and gloves, take a quick look at these flooring cleaner do’s and don’ts.

Do Choose Your Method by Floor Type

Multi-purpose cleaners are great to have on hand for things like bathroom fixtures, kitchen counters, and appliances. However, when you’re trying to prevent set-in stains, make sure you’re using methods and supplies for that specific floor type. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your flooring more than cleaning it.

Don’t Mix Cleaning Solutions Without Research

You’ve got the basics now and may feel empowered to start making your own judgment calls. Before you mix cleaning solutions (including basic household ingredients), do some research first. The wrong combination can produce toxic fumes or dangerous chemical reactions, and safety is the first priority in cleaning!

Do Call the Pros

Sometimes, you have to know when to throw in the towel. If you’re dealing with old or large stains or preparing your house for sale, let the floor cleaning experts take over. DIY methods can only take you so far!

Kiss Every Stain Goodbye With the Right Tools and Methods

If you’re tired of tarnished floors, it’s time to become the master of flooring cleaner methods and supplies. Use this guide to tackle common household stains the right way.

Looking for more ways to boost your home? Take a look around for tips, tricks, and trends that fit every budget.

Mark Thompson, a seasoned pest controller, is renowned for his expertise in keeping homes and businesses free from unwanted intruders. With a passion for environmental sustainability and a deep understanding of pest behavior, Mark has become a trusted authority in the industry.

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